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Old August 19th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #1
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Internal vs External

This morning my WD external failed, but my last two failures have been power related, and the solution has been to rip the drive out of its external case and install it into my quad. My question is how this affects the performance of the drive. I know firewire is fast, but it seems that having it internal would make it even faster. Thoughts?
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Old August 19th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #2
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internal sata is always faster than firewire. btw, you might want to buy an external enclosure, you simple screw an internal drive into a tray and slide it into the enclosure. you can easily move it back into the computer or buy more drives and trays to expand your storage. I try to avoid editing on an external and only use them for archive, back up, or for projects that need to be edited on more than one computer.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #3
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I'm confused about SATA, because I've heard they don't work well (the SATA ports by the fans). When you slide it into one of the four internal docks is that also considered SATA?
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Old August 20th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #4
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Yes, the internal connection is a SATA connection. And for what it's worth, you can put a SATA card in a PCI slot and use external SATA drives. SATA will be faster and more reliable than either Firewire or USB: no bridge chipset involved.

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Old August 22nd, 2008, 09:56 PM   #5
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If you're looking for a better external solution for the future, buy a Drobo (drobo.com) or build a RAID. You'll be able to use your drives externally, and you'll never have to worry about possible data loss, because it won't be possible.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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Actually, a RAID is NOT protection against data-loss. It is protection against hard drive failure. And that threat is typically not that great on a small scale. Couple that with the fact that you need to have a disaster recovery plan for your data anyway, and RAID solution just become another (needless) expense/headache. What I mean by that is let's say I have a hard drive of video. I need to have a copy of that video stored elsewhere. I simply can't rely on a RAID or automated system since that offers no protection against corrupted or accidentally deleted files (which is FAR more common than a failed hard drive). Since I need to protect against that, I have also protected myself against hard drive failure making a RAID or automatic system redundant and not worth my time to manage or the additional expense.

Now to each their own. Way back we used G-Tech firewire hard drives. We moved to a Granite Digital 8-bay tower using a RAID 5. We switched to MacGurus Burly bays and the only RAID I use is a RAID 1 on the discs I keep my client files and project saved files. This disc is also backed up at least once per week to another drive. While we are using the bays with trays, there is no doubt I will be switching to the trayless bays. At that point, your hard drive is just a big 'ole floppy disc!!!

MacGurus:Burly Port Multiplier SATA Enclosures

Mike

PS- one of the largest drawbacks to earlier Drobo's was that it was USB only (an sure fire achilles heal for hard drives!). It is good to see they now offer Firewire!!!!
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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If you don't want to spend over at least $1000 then I would just stick to internal Sata II drives since they are quite fast and reliable. If you feel like it is time to buy a external array then I would recommend getting the new arrays from Cal Digit. The HD Element should be quite innovating while the HDone/HDpro has shown everyone that you don't need to spend $10,000 on a fibre array to finish in HD. If I'm not mistaken Cal Digit uses External Sata except it is 3Gbps like any new internal harddrive. Basically that means they would of eliminated the problems that external Sata with disk cache and the 1.5Gbps limit.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #8
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Yeah, the Drobo's being FireWire is great. And Mike, when referring to RAID against data-loss, I was indeed referring to setting something up similar to the Drobo, like RAID 5, which would indeed keep your storage quite safe. :)
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Old August 26th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #9
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A RAID 5 is protection against hard drive failure, not data loss specifically. If I accidentally delete a file a RAID 5 (or Drobo) won't help me. If a file becomes corrupted, a RAID 5 won't help me. If a directory error hoses a hard drive, a RAID 5 won't help me (but Disk Warrior may!). A RAID 5 will protect me against one of the hard drives failing within the RAID. The data on the failed hard drive can then be copied to a new drive.

Mike
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